between trains

When I was visiting my native Sweden, last Fall, I rode trains quite a few times. Before that, it had been ages since I was on a train, but as I visited several places — not only my home town — it was convenient.

At first, I didn’t think much of it, except one thing that I found striking: My niece picked me up at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen, and we took a train over to Sweden. The train itself was very new … very modern and comfortable … but what I noticed the most was that everyone was so connected. They all wore head phones and seemed to be texting on their iPhones or whatever brand they had.

Gerry and I often talk about, and try to imagine bringing our parents back to life today. Since they died before this whole electronic revolution started, they’d be lost! First off; they wouldn’t know what ‘online’ meant –what people were talking about when they said they’d go online … then … if they saw all these people with their little devices, looking totally cut off from reality, they’d be baffled! Not to mention the ones with hands-free, connected to their ears — they would think they all were self-chatters!

A few days later, I took a train up to Stockholm, and again … a few more days later, from Stockholm up north to Härnösand, which is my hometown. Those two train rides were fairly long — the last one, about four hours. Now in hindsight, I realize that I hardly noticed those trips. Why?! I had my computer! They had WiFi and beside every seat were electrical outlets … perhaps there were USB too, but I didn’t need it.

You know when you’re online, how time flies?! I did my stuff there as I do here at home … wrote emails, was on Facebook … probably blogged too! That trip from down south up to Stockholm, I could at least have paid more attention to the landscape, because that’s a part of Sweden where I’ve never been. I do remember that it was pouring rain, though.

I used to enjoy «people watching» when travelling … in airports and on trains. That didn’t happen this time — at least not on the trains! In the airports I had ample time to sit around and just gaze. I’d seen to that I wouldn’t have to rush … so that each stop-over would be comfortable. It’s not only the running between gates, but also being nervous, when you’re not such an experienced traveller. Eleven hours in Iceland was a bit over the top though! 🙂

Both of these photos were shot outside the Central Station in Stockholm. My camera and computer were in my back-pack so they were always close and handy.

18 Replies to “between trains”

  1. I remember travelling in Indonesia even without a camera because I wanted to see and feel. Mostly that’s all I remember. Today I’m able to reconstruct some journies because I made photos – and sometimes I see more. But all these connected people in the world talking to their machines – very strange.

    1. It is weird!

      I have travelled very little in my life, and photography is new to me. Now … after this trip, I realize how much all my pictures mean to me!

  2. Hi,
    That is amazing that they had not only WiFi but electrical outlets beside the seats on the train, that really is great, and how convenient for everyone. As you said the time seemed to fly by, I have never heard of things like this on a train, fantastic for long journeys.

    1. Yeah, that was so cool, and they were comfortable too — ample leg-room and so on. Time just FLEW by … I was chatting with people on FB, some were in my town and it was a lot of fun actually! 🙂

  3. On my recent trip to the UK, I travelled up to Scotland on the train to visit my brother, and I was shocked to see they also had WiFi connections at every seat – had I known, I would have brought my computer with me as it was a four hour journey!

    1. Yeah! You should have! 🙂 I don’t remember now, if I knew beforehand, about the trains, but I noticed it immediately on that first train…

  4. I would love to bring my parents back to show them how far technology has come, especially my mother. I have no doubt, she would love the internet. Mom always had her nose in a book, dabbling in genealogy, astrology, history, geography, etc. I’m not sure if she would care about the I-pods so much, but I’m sure she’d have been snapping photos right and left with some of the cool digital cameras they have today. We are lucky to have such conveniences ourselves, and by sharing, we are opening doors for each other. I wonder what they’ll come up with after we’re all gone, and new generations take our place? Something to ponder as you/we travel about, no doubt. This is a very nice, thought provoking, post. Your photos are lovely. Thanks for the share 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Orples! I know my Mum would have liked cell phones. Not the cost of using them, but the fact that she’d be able to get a hold of people, regardless of where they were!

      One thing, that I’m really thankful for, is that I’ve lived BOTH worlds … that I’ve lived to experience this explosion, and am able to appreciate! The kids, being born today, will take it for granted as I did with the telephone.

  5. It’s a big topic you described.

    I echo Tom’s comment above.

    I spent a year in South America without a camera or any kind of connectedness except a pen and paper – because I didn’t want a barrier or a translation between me and what I was seeing.

    And I was travelling light and didn’t want to carry the extra weight.

    The weight of a camera and a computer starts to add up, don’t they. Which is funny in this new lightweight world…

    1. That was my problem …especially while I was in Stockholm, and wanted to walk a lot… the weight!!! Next time, I’ll have to rethink that.

      I’m really happy with these pictures, though, because I did’t have any photos at all from home before.

      I felt that people were cut off from ‘reality’ …me included..

    2. Many years ago I met an Italian photographer in central Sulawesi. He hunting for motives, me only with my backpack. The man was really suffering of every pic-opportunity he missed.
      Some years ago I lost nearly all of my USA-photos in a laptop crash. I’m still suffering. 🙂

      1. How utterly devastating … beyond words!

        Every night, while I was away, I emptied the camera to the laptop. Then I uploaded all of them to Flickr. Didn’t process them or anything … just to make sure.

        Since I’m not a professional photographer and have no aspirations of becoming one either … I sometimes think perhaps I’d do just as well with a Fuji X100. But then again … I don’t know if it takes longer time to focus with it..

        1. I’m avoiding anything with Google but I copy them now on a stick too – and don’t use a touch-display any more.
          I’m using the Nikon Coolpix P500.

          1. yeah, but Flickr is Yahoo and that might be even worse. Thing is, I have a paid account there and then youäre stuck! I’ve never tried a touch display, except on my cellphone 🙂

            1. Sorry, wrong term in foreign language: It was the touch-PAD of my laptop which did the trick in a second.
              I’m not sure but I think Flickr is now the photo-storage of the Google imperium (together with Yahoo).

              1. ohh..the touch pad — I never use that, I’ve never been able to get accustomed to it. No, Google has Picasa and Yahoo has Flickr.. 🙂

  6. I love the trains in Sweden. And I enjoyed just looking at the country side as I travelled. I did not have my laptop, but would not have used it. Too busy watching,. Next time might bring my Nook Color with it almost a tablet. Easy to travel with.

    I also like longer lay overs. First trip to Sweden we landed in Stockholm and had to catch a plane to Oslo. We had 15 min. We were supposed to grab out luggage but no time. We literally ran,. Then had to wait for our luggage to catch up to us. Did not like this.

    1. Yeah, I thought they were really nice, but they told me they were already old and ready to be replaced!
      I was late for a connecting flight on London Heathrow once, had to run like a maniac … never again! I’ll make sure that there’s lots of time..

      A tablet would be nice to travel with..

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